The bastion Saint-André, designed following plans by Vauban in the late 17th century, is now home to the Archaeology Museum, which houses all the collections gathered during various excavations in the city and the surrounding waters. A precious past resuscitated, through the wrecks of Etruscan, Greek, Phoenician and Roman ships driven here by storms: ceramics, amphorae, mosaics, coins and everyday objects attest to the extraordinary prosperity of the powerful Roman 'Civitas Antipolitana.'References:
The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, including Ragusa, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 1693 Ragusa was devastated by a huge earthquake, which killed some 5,000 inhabitants. Following this catastrophe the city was largely rebuilt, and many Baroque buildings from this time remain in the city. Most of the population moved to a new settlement in the former district of Patro, calling this new municipality 'Ragusa Superiore' (Upper Ragusa) and the ancient city 'Ragusa Inferiore' (Lower Ragusa). The two cities remained separated until 1926, when they were fused together to become a provincial capital in 1927.